Using Easter for False Political Attacks

April 07, 2010

FoxNews is suggesting that Obama "Removes Jesus from Easter Message." Their attack on their Fox Nation website is a copy of a piece from the website of a religious-political group started by Newt Gingrich. The piece goes on to claim that Obama "wants to water down religious beliefs in an attempt to find a synthesized religion of the 'family of man'" and that is what led to him "removing Christ from Easter" and deciding "to dechristianize Easter." The complaint is that when he quoted a small part of a chaplain's sermon from World War II he did not include the references to Jesus. The problem with the claim made by Gingrich's organization and parroted by FoxNews is that it is an incorrect claim to say Obama took Jesus out of his Easter message, especially since the message in question was technically his weekly address given the day before Easter and not an Easter message. But even then, consider the third sentence of Obama's speech that is being attacked:

On Sunday, my family will join other Christians all over the world in marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So much for removing Jesus from the speech! It is bad enough to use religion to try and score political points, but it is even worse when it is a lie. Obama did not quote the entire chaplain's speech, but one cannot honestly say he left Jesus out of his speech. This situation is even worse when one considers the fact that Gingrich chose a pastor to run the organization that started this false attack (the pseudo-historian David Barton, who has pushed for controversial new education standards in Texas, is also part of the group). Gingrich's group is right that Easter is a holy and important day. And that is why it should not be used to make inaccurate attacks on a political opponent.

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